In the Middle of the Sea

Now when evening came, the boat was in the middle of the sea; and He was alone on the land. Mark 6:47

The week between Christmas and New Year reminds me of the scene as the disciples were struggling to cross the sea of Galilee . Everything had started out just fine that day. Jesus had taught thousands of people and then miraculously multiplied bread for everyone to eat. Maybe some of those basketfuls of leftovers were in the boat with them getting soggy from the spray of the waves. But there in that place they suddenly felt alone, worn out and confused. How could they have gotten themselves in such a fix. Jesus himself had told them to get into the boat and cross over. Why were things so hard?

I’m sure most of us have asked these kinds of questions all through this pandemic year. How could a year that began with such hope end in such confusion, weariness and fear? We are all living this life in the middle where the shore we have left from is no longer in sight and still our destination is not even visible on our most distant horizon. But God has good news for all of us weary rowers today.

First, if we started in the right direction, being in the middle is not such a bad thing. It means we are halfway to our goal. Just because things are tough doesn’t mean we should consider quitting. God is giving us an opportunity to grow in faith and to see Him at work in our trials.

Secondly, even in the middle of the sea Jesus is still watching over us. Jesus has not gone into retirement in heaven. He in fact has taken on the job of praying for us. He knows exactly where we are, what we are up against and He has a plan in it all.

Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. Hebrews 7:25

Last of all, the middle of the sea is the perfect place for Jesus to come. He specializes in walking on waves, showing up in our darkest hour and speaking to us in ways that are surprising (Maybe even frightening at first). But just think of all we would have missed if we simply had stayed dry and safe in a fancy hotel room back on shore. God is with us and promises that if we follow Him He will be The Good Shepherd who makes us lie down in green pastures in 2021. He will lead us by still waters and along paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. He will be our protector and friend through every dark valley ahead and stay with us all along the road until together we come to the Father’s house.

Starting tomorrow I will be taking about off a week from this blog. Our son and daughter-in-law are coming with five of our grandchildren to keep me company as my wife has had to fly out to California to care for her sister who recently came out of the hospital. She is recovering well but I would appreciate your prayers. You see, I really needed this lesson for myself today and I pray it will be a blessing to you as well. We are all together in the same boat in the middle of the lake but Jesus has not forgotten us. Happy New Year to all and God bless! For those who enjoy devotional reading you might want to consider my full year devotional:

Available on Amazon in both a Kindle e-book and a print version. Here is the link for 365 Days With Jesus by Peter Caligiuri

The Light of Christmas

In him was life and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.  John 1:4-5 ESV

Often our Christmas celebrations end on Christmas Eve. We’ve remembered the stable, the star, the wise men shepherds and Mary. But Christmas morning after the presents are opened and the Christmas dinner is over, everyone starts to watch football, makes a few phone calls or even just takes a nap. The same happened in Bethlehem. The very next day the shepherds went back to their sheep, the angels disappeared; Joseph probably got a room at the inn and life pretty much got back to normal – or did it?

The Bible tells us that in Jesus was life and that life was the light of men. Did you ever stop and wonder when that tiny baby begin to shine God’s light? Could it have happened as Mary comforted his cries as they fled from Herod’s soldiers? Could it have begun in Egypt where they lived as immigrants and fugitives? Maybe it began at the temple where He was asking the elders questions or at the river where John baptized him. The Bible isn’t specific about all the details, but it tells us that in some miraculous way God’s light was shining in Jesus through every big day and small and that all through the ages the darkness has never put it out…

Merry Christmas and God Bless you. May His light shine in your heart today!

Christmas Eve – 12th Gift – Love

12th Gift of Christmas – The Love of God

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16

We often think of the baby in the manger as the giving of God’s ultimate gift. But looking more deeply into the story we see that yes it was at Bethlehem that God’s gift came, but it was not until the cross that His gift was given. God’s gift of love became ours as the blood poured from the wound in Jesus’ side. Why not make Christmas the start of a new life’s journey that will last forever? He has given you these twelve gifts and so much more. Christmas is the perfect time to give your life to Him!

Here is my poem for you as my gift and the Mullett girls singing on a fresh new video about the Glorious Night Jesus was born! Merry Christmas all!

 12 Gifts of Christmas

 The gift of being a neighbor
 Do I know my neighbor’s name?
 The gift of Kindness
 That puts prejudice to shame
 The gift of Prayer
 That calls help down from God
 The gift of Faith
 That believes when times are hard
 The gift of Hope
 That sees our Lord in all
 The gift of Joy
 That helps us when we fall
 The gift of Grace
 That washes away sin
 The gift of Rest
 That spends sweet time with Him
 The Living gift of Water
 That fills our thirty souls
 The gift of Mercy
 That answers law’s demands
 The gift of a Star
 That guides us through strange lands
 The gift of Love
 The greatest one of all
 And Jesus - gift of gifts In a manger low and small! 

12 Gifts of Christmas by Peter Caligiuri
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